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World Mythology for Beginners: 50 Timeless Tales from Around the Globe by Hamby Zachary

World Mythology for Beginners: 50 Timeless Tales from Around the Globe by Hamby Zachary

Author:Hamby, Zachary [Hamby, Zachary]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Rockridge Press
Published: 2021-09-06T16:00:00+00:00


THE THEFT OF THOR’S HAMMER

CULTURE OF ORIGIN: NORSE

A ll of Asgard was in an uproar. Mjolnir, the magical hammer the thunder god Thor used to keep the frost giants of Jotunheim at bay, had been stolen. An irate Thor bellowed threats at his fellow gods, demanding the culprit come forward. The other gods turned to Loki the trickster, who, after all, was behind almost every other catastrophe that beset the gods. “Loki, what have you done with my hammer?” growled Thor. “It was here beside me when I went to sleep, and now it is missing!”

Loki was a thin god with a crafty face. “Why does everyone automatically assume I stole your hammer?” he asked incredulously. “Hasn’t anyone noticed these giant footprints leading in and out of Thor’s hall?” The gods looked down, and sure enough, there were enormous footprints. “Giants!” shouted Thor, turning on Loki once again. “You must go to Jotunheim and find the giant who has stolen my hammer!”

Loki sighed. “Oh, I see. If I’m not the villain, I have to be the hero.” Transforming himself into a falcon, Loki flew toward Jotunheim. There, he saw a giant perched on a frigid mountain peak with icicles a yard long dripping from his face and chin. The giant smirked at Loki, “Have you come from the gods? Do you seek Thor’s hammer?” The giant’s breath almost froze Loki in midair, but the trickster managed to nod his head. The giant continued, “I am Thrym the giant. I have buried Mjolnir nine miles below this mountain. Only I can retrieve it, so if you ever want this treasure back, you must give me what I want . . . the goddess Freya as my bride.”

Loki returned to Asgard where the gods were gathered and relayed the giant’s ridiculous demand. The thought of Freya, the stunning goddess of love and beauty, marrying a repugnant giant was unthinkable. Freya, who was among the assembled gods, flatly refused the offer. Yet, clever Frigga, the queen of the gods, stepped forward. “Perhaps we can give this giant the wedding he wants—just with a little change of cast,” she said, as she draped a length of cloth over Thor’s head.

After copious persuasion, the gods finally convinced Thor that he should go to Jotunheim disguised as the goddess Freya. They combed out the god’s long, red-gold hair, dressed him in layers of delicate bridal linen and jewels to hide his muscular body, and draped veils across his face. Similarly, they disguised Loki, so he could attend Thor as his bridesmaid. Then, blowing horns in celebration, all the gods set out for the land of the giants.

Thrym the giant, watching from his mountain peak, saw their approach, and his heart leapt. He raced down the mountainside and summoned all his fellow giants to attend his wedding, “My bride! My bride is coming!”

The gods presented the disguised bride to the beaming groom. “She is even lovelier than I remember!” said Thrym in ecstasy. The giants prepared a grand wedding banquet, and all the guests seated themselves.



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